Australia fall short of players for T20 World Cup warm-ups

Melbourne, May 27 (IANS): Australia are facing a dearth of players for the T20 World Cup warm-up matches as sqaud members participating in the IPL will spend some time with family before joining the team in the Caribbean.

Australia are scheduled to play warm-up matches against Namibia on Tuesday and co-host West Indies on Thursday. They have only nine players available for the first warm-up match with captain Mitchell Marsh solely playing as a batter in the encounter.

The trio of Pat Cummins, Travis Head and Mitchell Starc were part of the IPL final in Chennai on Sunday and will spend a brief period with family before linking up with the World Cup squad.

Among those spending time at home are Glenn Maxwell and Cameron Green, who were part of Royal Challengers Bengaluru's playoff run. When the Australian team travels to Barbados in preparation for their opening group game against Oman on June 5, those five are expected to arrive. Marcus Stoinis has yet to arrive in the Caribbean.

"It's important to be flexible. Guys have been at the IPL. They've been playing a lot of cricket so we've prioritized giving them a couple of days at home, see their family, refresh and play the long game for this tournament. We'll get to our 15 eventually but it's really important that we give them a break, even if it's [just] a couple of days at home," quoted Marsh as saying.

In the absence of required players, Australia will have the option to field coaching staff members during the warm-up matches. In addition to head coach Andrew McDonald, national selector George Bailey, and assistant coach Andre Borovec, Brad Hodge has joined the tournament support staff and could be called in.

Marsh is confident of his leadership abilities in his first ICC assignment as captain. He is still recovering from the hamstring injury suffered during the IPL with Delhi Capitals.

"I'm just ticking off the last few things I need to tick off to be fit and available. All went well today. It's been progressively slow but finally getting there now and looking forward to getting stuck into the tournament," he said.

"Initially we thought it was a three-weeker but with tendons they can take a little bit longer and you sort of have to go on feel. Once I was ruled out of the IPL we've certainly taken our time to get it right and I feel lucky I've had that bit of extra time, a little bit of time at home to refresh and like all the others who have arrived today I'm raring to go," Marsh added.



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